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More on White House ‘TV Whisperer’ Joining Burson-Marsteller

Dag VegaThanks to Politico, we had the news about former White House “TV Whisperer” Dag Vega leaving the Obama administration to go the PR route several days ago. Now we have the press release.

First: Vega will be managing director of Burson-Marsteller’s Washington, D.C. office effective August 4th, and he will report to Ann Davison, U.S. Chair of Public Affairs & Crisis Practice who joined the firm last month, as well as Jano Cabrera, worldwide executive vice president.

Thanks to a Politico exclusive, we also know that Friday will be his last day at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and that he will take a vacation in Puerto Rico before starting the new gig.

What did Vega do at the White House?

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The Spin Cycle (Borscht Edition): 11 Crazy Conspiracy Theories About MH 17

Are you one of the few who still believe that every big story has one true narrative? Did you not listen to Mike Allen?!

Our point: as Julie Ioffe notes today in The New Republic, the Russian public has a totally different understanding of what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 than the rest of the world.

“Watching some of these Russian newscasts [where most of the television is owned or controlled by the Kremlin], one comes away with the impression of a desperate defense attorney scrounging for experts and angles, or a bad kid caught red-handed by the principal, trying to twist his way out of a situation in which he has no chance.”

“The discrepancy,” she writes, “does not bode well for a sane resolution to this stand-off.”

After the jump, 11 of the craziest conspiracies being floated over the Russian air waves. Read more

The Ticker: Media Consolidation; WSJ Hack; America’s Lame Airlines; And More

Levick, Goodluck Jonathan Face Twitter Upheaval in Nigeria

Washington, D.C.’s Levick encountered a bit of a backlash from some Nigerian tweeters this week.

Some citizens of the West African country apparently take issue with its government’s decision to hire the firm, which came in order to downplay some of the very negative media attention regarding the Islamist group Boko Harem, which recently kidnapped more than 250 high school girls and inspired the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag.

Coincidentally, last week saw activist (and Edelman client) Malala Yousafzai meet with Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan in one of his most widely publicized attempts to address the crisis.

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Another Reporter Quits Kremlin-Funded News Network Because Truth and Ethics

Steven Segal RT News

Man, they get all the good interviews.

Just when you think you have lost hope in network news, a story like this comes along trying to restore that faith. Now, if only you can get over the fact it’s from MOSCOW! Yes, really.

The RT is a Russian news network that has one huge setback in that “unbiased reporting” angle — it is completely funded by the Russian government and Putin runs the thing. You can imagine no one is talking to smack to that president on-air right?

ICYMI, there’s a little news in the Ukraine about a “tragic mistake,” which some Ukrainian officials have called shooting down a Malaysian passenger jet mistaken for the enemy. Despite that horrific murder of 295 people, the RT is in full spin mode, which caused one reporter to grow a set of ethics and quit.

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The Ticker: Facebook ‘Buy’ Button; In-House vs. Agency; Airbnb Logo Problems; And More

The Ticker: Microsoft Layoff Memo; ‘TV Whisperer’ Leaves White House; Travel Branding Challenges; And More

Airbnb Shows Its New Face to the World

You may have heard of Airbnb. The company (and other “sharing economy” businesses lumped together despite serving different constituencies in different industries) has struggled a bit to define itself to the public as its business is a patchwork “community” made up of people who want to share their homes and people looking for homes to be shared.

Today the company launched a new website, a new logo, and a slew of content designed to give us all a better idea of what it does–and to give the members of its community a clearer sense of identity.

First, the video explaining the logo and tying it into the brand proposition:

According to the release, the Bélo also stands for ”open windows, open doors, and shared values.”

Founder Brian Chesky explains things in a blog post after the jump.

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Someone Fooled Nikki Finke

Nikki Finke, the least favorite blogger of many Hollywood publicists, took a small hit to her credibility this week via the revelation that she received several fake tips regarding a recent “scoop” but published the story anyway.

Someone with a vendetta used Finke’s tipline to send several emails from separate sources claiming that screenwriter Mike Landis (son of Ghostbusters director Jon Landis) was reworking the script for the perpetually pending sequel. Not true.

Here’s the media relations angle:

“Dangling the carrot further, one ‘tipster’ claimed Deadline was running the Landis story the next day. Another begged Finke not to run the story as it was promised exclusively to Variety.”

Crafty. Finke claims that a Sony studio executive “mistakenly confirmed it”, but Sony unsurprisingly told Page Six that she doesn’t check with studios on stories like these.

Two questions: Are fake stories relatively easy to place on blogs? And do we really need a Ghostbusters 3?

Two answers: Yes and hell no.

The Ticker: Fox Wanted Time Warner; NYT Style Adds Tech; Corporations on CSR; And More

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